Okanagan College workers clean up in Penticton

Okanagan College employees Danielle Robinson and Jill Smith helped with a deep clean at a Penticton women
Okanagan College employees Danielle Robinson and Jill Smith helped with a deep clean at a Penticton women's transition house as part of a larger community service event.
— image credit: Joe Fries/Western News

Staff and students from Okanagan College went off campus Friday to do some good in their communities.

About 275 volunteers from around the region took on a variety of jobs, from painting and cleanup projects to a website overhaul and animal care at an SPCA branch, during the Golden Day of Service, part of the college’s ongoing celebration of its 50th anniversary.

A four-person crew from the Penticton campus spent half a day doing spring cleaning at a women’s transition house in the city.

Jill Smith, who works in the college’s recruiting and events department, said she enjoyed getting her hands dirty washing walls and windows.

She and the others received their regular wage while out on their temporary jobs.

“The idea was because we’re at our 50th anniversary of the college, we decided to give back to the community,” Smith explained.

“Transforming lives and communities: That’s our mission. So it’s a way for us to do that outside of our regular roles and give back to the community at large.”

Smith and her crew were impressed with the setup at the transition house, which takes in women and children who have fled from abusive situations.

“It’s a good space for women in need,” she said.

“It’s a great place that’s available to women in the South Okanagan.”

The transition house’s operators were happy to get some help.

The volunteers helping out… (did) great work to spring clean the space,” say Samarapan Faassee, public relations co-ordinator for the South Okanagan Women In Need Society.

“We have an ongoing need for volunteers at our organization as stretching resources — dollars and human —  is one we practice all the time.

Okanagan College opened its doors in Kelowna on Sept. 28, 1963, and now boasts additional campuses in Salmon Arm, Vernon and Penticton that helped its enrolment grow to 5,379 students last year.




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